Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Carla's Birds: During the creative process I've ended up as my sister's killer...

Beastie or Not to Be

"That's wrong, just look at him," said Mitt. We peered over the side of the dumpster and agreed. The naked man lying on the garbage looked peaceful as he slept. One tattooed arm coming up to unconsciously flick the flies away from his face and his three foot long dreadlocks, his only defense against indecency. The other arm was underneath, his hand cradling his head. We let him be, he seemed O.K. and there was little chance he would be dumped and thrown out.

We had gone behind the white-washed concrete block building housing the liqour store because it had a little strip of grass to sit on and was away from prying eyes. There were five of us, laughing as we guessed what happened to the naked man. It was a young group. I was by far the oldest and the token bad ass, a real ex-con, tolerated because I didn't try and take over and could buy the booze. There wasn't much else to do these days but to hang out. They passed the Thunderbird around. I took a swig, a small one as I had to be careful of my parole. Inside I could get alcohol and drugs, I could forget, but not here, not outside, they wouldn’t let you. I listened while some naive white guy with mommy issues and some expensive ear lobe jewelry wondered how you could sink so low that you could end up in a garbage can. What kind of beast did you have to be? he asked. Like it would never happen to him.

A kitten mewed, and we saw a cat head poke out from the tent made of wooden pallets stacked up against the wall, listen, then streak to the garbage can, vault to the edge, disappear and reappear a moment later with her errant kitten in her mouth. Another jump and streak and she was back home, no doubt giving her kitten the licking of its life.

The Thunderbird went around again and a cigarette was passed between knuckles. Sticking it to the man, rebels without a cause, every one, that was what we were. My lips twisted in disgust at this. What did they know about beasts. So innocent, their life of crime consisted of lifting cigarettes and Icehouse beers. Thinking they were free, weren’t part of the herd that went to work, the sell outs supporting corporate greed. They weren't beasts. A memory surfaced; the same one. I grew rigid until is passed, then…released, breathed again. They didn't know. Didn't know how little it took. Talking trash between friends, in a group just like this, a daddy with a gun and the next thing you know that uppity white 7-11 night clerk they'd kidnapped along with the money in the till and some beer was dead. Shot full of holes. Full of the beer they had stole, the four of them had taken turns. At the trial they said it was the fourth shot that had killed her. I couldn't remember when I took my turn. I didn't want to remember. It was my turn now. I took a drink, trying for oblivion, trying to forget, one mouthful at a time. Trying to forget the beast. Trying to forget myself.

---By Carla Blaschka

Carla's Strange Birds:                                                                         

Beastie or Not to Be

Challenge from The Stranger July 25-31, 2012, Vol 21, No 47

This fictional story was created from five random elements plucked from the pages of The Stranger, a Seattle weekly. The theme comes from the cover art. The elements were:

Theme: Big Wheel Keeps on Turnin’. Cover Art by Stacey Rozich 3 kids…in terrorist masks, with dynamite, air horn. 2 on tricycle.

  • Location: White painted concrete block wall, grass in front (pg 36)
  • Plot Point: Naked man in Dumpster. Drunk Photo of the Week (pg 45)
  • Quote: “That’s wrong. Just look at him.” By Mitt Romney in The Man Without Qualities by Paul Constant (pg 16)
  • Rhetorical Element: Kitten (ad, pg 28)
  • Character Trait: Tattooed arm scratches the head sprouting 3’ long dreadlocks (Bauhaus 8/6/12)

  • Also check out my other wordpress website. It's a literary journal called Randomly Accessed Poetics! Submissions are open. We Publish continually. Lastly, Penhead Press's first publication: Randomly Accessed Poetics, Issue 1: The Texture of Words came out. If you're interested you can find it in the kindle store.

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